Mix It Up — 7

fountains_of_wayne_1_500.jpgI've been toying with the idea of putting together a CD's worth of songs whose titles involve women's names ever since John posted about it a couple months back. I've got a pretty sizable iTunes playlist that's just name songs, as well as one full of songs whose titles are places; there's something about the thematic arrangements that's just appealing to me. After some winnowing, I think I've come up with a decent mix, though it's only a fraction of the available material. Also, though the anal part of me really wanted to use songs with titles that were just a name, I loosened up on the requirements to let a couple favorites on the team. Here goes: All in a Name 1. "Annie Waits," Ben Folds — The lead track from Ben Folds' classic Rockin' the Suburbs. Because sometimes, no one really knows what it's like to be male, middle class, and white. Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs - Annie Waits 2. "Help Me, Suzanne," Rhett Miller — When he's not fronting the Old 97's, Rhett Miller writes some great pop songs, and this is one of the best. Sweet and simple and great. Rhett Miller - The Believer - Help Me, Suzanne 3. "Emma J," Brendan Benson — I discovered this song, and Brendan Benson, on the Zero Effect soundtrack. This is a great song that always reminds me of being 17. Brendan Benson - One Mississippi - Emma J 4. "Hey Julie," Fountains of Wayne — The kind of genuine, heartfelt pop that Fountains of Wayne does so well. Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers - Hey Julie 5. "Anna Begins," Counting Crows — Damn, but this song has been breaking my heart in one way or another for more than a decade now. If I listen to this and "Time and Time Again" back to back, I will probably wind up talking too much about regrets. Thanks for forcing me to be open, Adam Duritz. Counting Crows - August and Everything After - Anna Begins 6. "Winona," Matthew Sweet — Girlfriend has some amazing songs (though I think 100% Fun is better overall), and this is one of them. Fantastic stuff. Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend - Winona 7. "Josephine," Teitur — I discovered Teitur a few years ago, and his Poetry & Aeroplanes is worth picking up if you're looking for some solid acoustic guitar-based pop, or if you started having midlife crises at 22. This is a beautiful song. Teitur - Poetry & Aeroplanes - Josephine 8. "Veronica," Elvis Costello — Come on, this one's a given. Elvis Costello - Spike - Veronica 9. "Rosalie Come and Go," Ryan Adams — Available on the limited edition bonus disc with Gold, which is well worth seeking out. Ryan Adams - Lost & Found, Vol.1 - Rosalie Come and Go 10. "Dolly," The Refreshments — The second (and final) record from The Refreshments was a more solidly produced, emotionally complicated album than their debut; basically, if Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy was falling in love, The Bottle & Fresh Horses was about watching that love come undone. This track is a howling blowoff to the girl that's done the man wrong. Refreshments - The Bottle & Fresh Horses - Dolly 11. "Miss Molly," Old 97's — A solid cover of a classic Cindy Walker song from my favorite working band. Plus you have to love old-school lyrics like "Her lips are soft as satin and they taste like gingerbread." Old 97's - Hitchhike to Rhome - Miss Molly 12. "Angelyne," The Jayhawks — About as perfect as a song can be. The Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music - Angelyne 13. "Amy," Ryan Adams — You need to own Heartbreaker, okay? You just need to. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker - Amy 14. "Cecilia," Simon & Garfunkel — Classic. Simon & Garfunkel - Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits - Cecilia 15. "Jolene," Mindy Smith — A great cover of the Dolly Parton hit, with Dolly herself singing backup. Mindy Smith - One Moment More - Jolene 16. "Amie," Damien Rice — This guy definitely knows how to write the sad/sweet ones. Damien Rice - Live from the Union Chapel - Amie 17. "Josephine," The Wallflowers — The second "Josephine" song on the list is from The Wallflowers' Bringing Down the Horse, which is still a fantastic record and a prime example of mid-1990s pop-rock. Buried behind all the singles is this deep cut that's as mournful and sharp as can be. If you haven't revisited the album in a while, this is the perfect reason, and if you never picked it up in the first place, it's worth it. Trust me. The Wallflowers - Bringing Down the Horse - Josephine